10 Queensland Backpacker ADVENTURES
Backpackers and travellers, resolve to go out of your way and sample some of the beautiful and breathtaking experiences that await in this magnificent state.
These 10 Ideas are just a few that show what Australia is all about.
Brisbane Backpackers Hostel Somewhere to Stay say…go for it!
Backpackers in Brisbane SLIP on a diving mask and look under the public pontoon on Orpheus Island. The shade is favoured by a gob-smacking mass of perhaps 2000 fish, some of them half a metre long. Moon wrasse and parrotfish, humpbacks and sergeant majors, juvenile gropers, trevally, emperor and coral trout mingle as if confined in an overstocked aquarium.
You can catch a boat out there and camp nearby on the beach. Check with Hinchinbrook Shire Council’s visitor centre at Ingham on 4776 5211 or visit www.epa.qld.gov.au for a camping permit.
2. CARNARVON NATIONAL PARK
Brisbane backpackers WAIT until other visitors have gone, climb the steel ladder, walk through the rocky cleft and alone, soak up the cathedral-like grandeur of the Amphitheatre — one of several must-see wonders in Carnarvon Gorge.
From Brisbane, head for Roma then on to Injune, up the Rolleston Road and turn in to Carnarvon National Park. Good camping just outside at Takarakka 4984 4535 or firstname.lastname@example.org or stay in a safari cabin at the Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge, 1800 644 150.
3. LAWN HILL NATIONAL PARK
Backpackers head into the remote northwest to see the calcium dams and insect-catching archer fish of Lawn Hill National Park. Swim past baby freshwater crocodiles sunning themselves on logs in rainbow serpent country.
The other big attraction is Riversleigh — an area rich in remarkable fossils of beetles and prehistoric animals which drowned in calcium-rich ponds millions of years ago. Informative tours into Lawn Hill Gorge National Park and to Riversleigh are run from Adele’s Grove. Info: 4748 5502.
4. THORSBORNE TRAIL
Rated one of the world’s top walks, the 22km Thorsborne Trail down the eastern side of Hinchinbrooke Island is a must-do for serious hikers.
Accessible by ferryboat, this remote area hike across Australia’s largest island national park takes the self sufficient bushwalker over palm fringed beaches, World Heritage listed tropical forest, over pink granite boulders, flowing creeks and steep hillside tracks. There’s a choice of six campsites, depending on whether you want to rush it or not. Access is limited to only 40 walkers at any time.
For more information call 131304 or visitwww.qld.gov.au/camping.
5. UNDARA NATIONAL PARK
Backpackers, stand in the ammonia-smelling mouth of a natural underground tunnel as 30,000 small bats fly out at sundown to hunt insects. The sunset tour is a year-round phenomenon in Undara National Park, where prehistoric streams of lava have left an astonishing array of railway tunnel-sized caverns and lava tubes. In summer, snakes climb into trees to catch passing bats.
For information on the Undara Experience, call 4097 1411 or visit www.undara.com.au
6. DAINTREE RIVER
Backpackers of Australia take a night tour along the Daintree River where big saltwater crocodiles are located by their eye reflections, dark shapes are seen gliding beneath the water and all kinds of birds still as a spotlight explore the rainforest margins of a mysterious creek. Dan Irby runs Mangrove Adventures.
Call 4049 7017 or visitwww.mangroveadventures.com.au for more information.
7. LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK
Backpackers, challenge yourself on a guided walk in World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park, on the Queensland-NSW border. Some memorable adventures are periodically on offer. Crawl and squeeze through a labyrinth of caves at Turtle Rock and abseil down the Ship’s Stern bluff on a day’s wild walk from Binna Burra Lodge, or visit the site of the famous Stinson wreck on a 12-hour hike from O’Reillys Guesthouse.
8. PUMICESTONE PASSAGE
On a still afternoon, midweek, half way up Bribie Island’s Pumicestone Passage, it’s possible to find a serene calm, drifting in a sea kayak on mirror-like water with the Glasshouse Mountains the perfect backdrop. The only sound might be the gasp as a dugong or a big turtle rises to take breath. From Bongaree, use the incoming tide to paddle 11km up above Gallagher Point where it’s possible to explore a flooded forest of mangroves. Savour the exquisite peacefulness on the high tide, then use the outgoing tide’s current to help with the return trip. Aquarius Canoes at Bongaree rents out kayaks for the trip.
For more information call 54976232
9. MITCHELL GRASS PLAINS
Backpackers, experience the classic droving lifestyle, riding a horse and moving a sizeable mob of cattle across the wonderful expanses of Queensland’s Mitchell grass plains. Eat at the droving plant, have a beer and listen to droving yarns around the campfire, then roll out your swag and study a skyful of stars.
Information: 46513311 or visitwww.aramac.qld.gov.au
10. PALUMA RAINFOREST
Backpackers, inspect at close hand the marvellous colours of a Victoria riflebird, as iridescent powder blues flash off its navy blue feathers. This and other amazing birds venture from tropical rainforest at Paluma, an hour’s drive north of Townsville. Visit the Paluma National Park while youโre there.